At least 40 people were killed and 380 others were left missing after 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck off Sumatra on Monday, Indonesian officials said Tuesday.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake generated a "significant" tsunami. Although communication with remote areas was difficult, witnesses in west Sumatra reported seeing a 6-meter (18-foot) high wave. One representative said at least one village with a population of about 200 people was swept away, with only 40 people recovered, according to CNN reports.
The temblor struck the Kepulauan Mentawai region of Indonesia, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) from Padang, the provincial capital of West Sumatra, and 640 kilometers from Singapore at 9:42 p.m. local time yesterday, Priyadi Kardono, a spokesman at the country's disaster management agency, said yesterday. The quake was centered at a depth of 33 kilometers, according to the USGS.
Ten aftershocks of magnitude 5 to 6.2 were recorded by Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, the office said in a statement on its website.
Indonesia, a country of more than 17,000 islands, is prone to earthquakes as it forms part the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines surrounding the Pacific Basin, Bloomberg informs.